Valentine's Day - 2015

I hate to interrupt our wonderful trip to Lesotho and leave everyone stranded in the Sky Kingdom,  but Valentine's Day has arrived and … well … it's a holiday to be celebrated no matter where we are or what we're doing. We'll descend the Sani Pass tomorrow, but today … it's all hearts and roses. i love you in many languages

Legend has it that Valentine's Day commemorates the day Saint Valentine, a 3rd century Christian bishop was martyred in Rome for marrying Christian couples. I wondered if Valentine's Day was celebrated in other parts of the world and how.

st. valentine

Here in South Africa, I see all the commercial signs of Valentine's Day … heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, Valentine cards, red hearts in the shop windows. It's not as commercial or as big as in the USA, but it's definitely celebrated here. I found this pic on the internet, which is probably more in keeping with Afrikaans valentines.

afrikans valentine

In Japan, they celebrate Valentine's Day with chocolate, but only women give gifts to men. Chocolates known as “giri choco” are given to all male friends and even bosses, but it has no romantic connotation. Guys aren't off the hook though. A month later on March 14, they celebrate White Day when men reciprocate with chocolates and flowers.

In Italy, they say Buon San Valentino. According to tradition, the first man a girl sees on Valentine's Day will become her husband and they'll be married within a year. I imagine that eligible men don't stray far from their homes on that day unless they're interested in matrimony.

ti amo

In Denmark, the custom is to send white flowers known as Snowdrops. Lovers send anonymous love notes, gaekkebrev, signed with dots, not a name. If you guess the sender, you're eligible for an egg at Easter. What an incentive!

In Norway, Valentine's Day is associated with love birds and signs of spring. While in Germany, in addition to the more commercial hearts and flowers, a special gift of a pig can be included. Representing luck and lust, the pig can be a picture, a mini-statue or a chocolate shape. Heart-shaped ginger cookies with romantic phrases are also popular.

piggy love

Dia dos enamorados (Lovers Day) is Brazil's equivalent to Valentine's Day, but it's celebrated on June 12th .  There are musical performances held in addition to the usual chocolates, hearts and flowers.

The Taiwanese celebrate romance twice a year! February 14th coincides with the rest of the world's celebration, but they celebrate it again on July 7th. Men give bouquets of flowers and according to Taiwanese tradition, the color and number of flowers have special meaning … red roses represent “love”, ninety-nine roses mean “love forever”, and108 roses signify a marriage proposal.

red roses

Historically, the French claim the first Valentine card. Charles, the Duke of Orleans, reputedly wrote the first Valentine card to his second wife, Bonne d’Armagnac in 1416. He sent her a little poem and signed it  “Your Valentine”.

little book of love

Enough … suffice it to say, Valentine's Day or some comparable day for celebrating love is observed pretty much worldwide. As for us, we'll celebrate in our own way. We don't need flowers, or chocolates or hearts. Champers would be nice though. And how will you celebrate this year?

Valentine's Day 2014

eros at the gallery of south australia  

If you've been following the blog for awhile, you'll know that I like to celebrate holidays whenever possible. Valentine's Day, in particular, is a wonderful day for lovers to celebrate and we definitely qualify. David's easy … he goes along with my romantic notions. Remember, he's the guy who tied yellow ribbons on Nine of Cups for my Australian homecoming!


love on the rundle mall


Well, since I'm writing this in time to post for Valentine's Day, it's hard to know how the day will turn out. Here's the plan … we'll have thrown off the docklines at Crown Marina yesterday and headed out into the Gulf of St. Vincent to some anchorage along the way. We'll savor the quiet and the wonder of being at anchor once again. We get up early on Valentine's Day morning and head to Kangaroo Island. We'll be anchored by afternoon. The champagne will be chilling throughout the trip and will be perfect for sipping once we're settled into our anchorage for the night. A nice dinner (maybe blue crab or a fish caught en route) and a movie aboard. Actually, that sounds perfect for any night, no matter where we are … and it doesn't even have to be Valentine's Day.


kangaroo love


I'll get back to you on how the day really turns out versus “my plan”. For some reason, reality and my plans don't always coincide. Go figure.

Valentine's Day 2013

sand valentine  

Let me interrupt this sailing adventure for a little romance. I'm a hopeless romantic. I admit it. I love chick flicks where girl meets boy, a little conflict ensues, they work everything out, sail off into the sunset and live happily ever after. Why not? That's MY life! I don't need roses and chocolates, just give me the romance and I'm a happy girl.


valentine heart


A little background on Valentine's Day (because you know how I am). It all began as a liturgical celebration for a Christian priest named Valentinus who was martyred by the Romans for performing weddings and ministering to Christians. It was actually during the Middle Ages when the tradition of courtly love was at its height that the day became associated with romantic love. I read somewhere that Geoffrey Chaucer mentioned it first in one of his poems. (We English majors know important things like this.) It evolved into a day for lovers to express themselves through flowers and candy and especially cards which became known as valentines and then Hallmark got hold of it and the rest is history.


handmade valentine gift


So, how do we celebrate the day aboard Nine of Cups? Well, it depends where we are. When we were anchored in a little cove in Patagonia, David whipped up a bead necklace as my valentine gift. I usually make something special for dinner … something David is particularly fond of. I'll make cupcakes with pink frosting; wear my red t-shirt … get in the spirit. If we have a bottle of champagne, we figure this is a good occasion to crack it open and celebrate love … just because we can.

Live a a little. It does your heart good! I'll be humming “My Funny Valentine” all day.

Back on track tomorrow!